Why Forbidden Ideas Become Acceptable
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What range of ideas are tolerated in public discourse? How and why do once-forbidden ideas and behavior become tolerated?
Those were some of the questions that led Rex Sorgatz, this week's guest on Masters in Business, to write a book that may have the longest title ever: “The Encyclopedia of Misinformation: A Compendium of Imitations, Spoofs, Delusions, Simulations, Counterfeits, Impostors, Illusions, Confabulations, Skullduggery, Frauds, Pseudoscience, Propaganda, Hoaxes, Flimflam, Pranks, Hornswoggle, Conspiracies & Miscellaneous Fakery.”
Sorgatz explains what the Overton Window is, why we decide not to waste time debunking flat-earthers, whether immigrants are rapists and if there "were very fine people in both sides” of neo-Nazi and white-supremacist rallies.
He began work on the book long before this election cycle; indeed, the word “Trump” only appears in passing in a single footnote. Instead, the book focuses on how easily we allow ourselves to be fooled -- or how we fool ourselves.
Next week, we speak with Barbara E. Kahn, professor of marketing at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, author of "The Shopping Revolution: How Successful Retailers Win Customers in an Era of Endless Disruption."
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.